Obesity: A Transgenerational Problem Linked to Nutrition during Pregnancy

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The increased obstetric risks of maternal obesity have been well described. These include increased risks of gestational diabetes mellitus, preeclampsia, stillbirth, and cesarean delivery. The fetal/neonatal consequences of prenatal maternal obesity have received less attention. In addition to an increased risk of stillbirth, the fetal/neonatal consequences include increased adiposity and a metabolic status that increases the lifetime risk of obesity and diabetes. This review focuses on the clinical obstetric consequences of maternal obesity and highlights recent mechanistic insights on fetal programming as well as evidence suggesting that prenatal care provides a unique opportunity to ameliorate these risks and decrease the cycle of childhood obesity.

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